I had a love affair.
It was bad. For years and years, I cheated on the one I loved. Though he was always faithful, my wandering eyes got the best of me.
I lustfully looked at everything but him. I sought others’ company and affection. I cheated time and time again only to be overcome with guilt and regret.
Then I’d come crawling back to him, begging for mercy, longing for his pure love again.
And he’d forgive me.
And I’d cheat again.
I don’t understand how He does, but The Lord continuously gives me grace when I wander from Him. He forgives my betrayal and offers me complete faithfulness in return.
But I rarely do the same to others.
When others do me wrong, I instinctively want to retaliate.
If she stabs me in the back, I’ll break out my fists. If he lies, I’ll spew poisonous words.
It’s funny how The Lord mercifully pours His grace on me, the girl who lied and ran and cheated and failed him over and over…but I struggle to do the same to others who have smaller offenses against me.
Forgiven people are called to forgive people.
It’s ironically unfortunate that my blessed soul can’t easily bless others.
The Lord calls me to do so.
In Matthew 18, Jesus says that we should forgive not seven times, but seven times seventy times.
To need to forgive someone 490 times baffles me. That person must cause abundant grief and pain for years and years. That relationship requires unfathomable patience and understanding, perseverance and grace.
Yet The Lord has forgiven me countless times. And will likely forgive me countless more.
Forgiveness frees us.
I am forgiven. The weight of my sins on my shoulders has been lifted. I can run freely without pain on my back.
I have forgiven. The weight of dwelling in contempt, bitterness and revenge has been removed.
I can joyfully love and be loved without fear of pain or broken relationships.
When deceit and unfaithfulness emerge, forgiveness, grace and mercy pave ways of of redemption and reconciliation.
Though people fail me and always will, I am called to turn to The One who never fails, but abundantly forgives and beckons me to follow Him and do the same.